Skeptics. Back in my early Tarot reading days, I fielded a million questions all the time. What are you doing? What is that? Then I started my business, I fielded a million more. You are going to start a business? Really? Doing what? You are a Psychic? Are you reading my mind? Depending on the day these questions could be fun to answer. Honestly I turned a lot of skeptics into clients. But on days when I felt like I was creating a “Outthere” “Fringy” “Weird” business, the questions made me nervous or created fear. Fast forward 10 years in business.
I met a brilliant coach, author, and business consultant. She invited me to teach at her business “Transcending Business as Usual.” I was pretty excited. I had been working with more business owners. My focus was on teaching them how to use intuition in their business. It felt like a great fit.
I showed up to the retreat to discover that the attendees weren’t my typical audience (up to that point anyway). My client hadn’t realized that 75% of the audience would be DOD contractors. These contractors were retired special ops from all four branches of the US military. These men were founders of consultancies that worked as civilians with the Military. They were mostly engineers and strategically minded business owners. Essentially, I was about to lead a segment on using intuition in business too .
Thankfully I was not a new facilitator. I had led this course work before and was flexible enough to shift on the spot so that the conversation would both land and make a difference. Unfortunately, while the room was engaged and people were doing the practices, I could tell that my “Intuition In Business” was not quite landing for a large portion of the room.
Then we broke for lunch. A big consulting firm of DOD guys grabbed me as I was packing up. They asked if I would have lunch with them. To be honest, I was hella nervous. When I was facilitating their table in particular was radiating the “Skeptical” vibe. But I was there not only to teach but to create relationships and cultivate potential clients.
We sat down for lunch. There were 4 of them and one of me. Each guy wanted to give me feedback. I don’t remember all of it word for word, but here was their main 3 points.
Point #1 – In the Army rangers, we did something called “Elite Operations Training.” It was extremely valuable for making quick decisions and not getting stuck in analyzing while in high stress situations in battle. It is kinda like what you did but more about how our brains would fight our instincts.
Point #2 – Do you remember Counselor Troy from the Star Ship Enterprise? I mean she obviously was psychic?! But the United Federation of Planets could’t call her a psychic and have her on that ship. Everyone knows that kind of thing exists, but if you use the word psychic, it is a little too in their face. Know what I mean? Our consulting firm has a board of directors. We can’t sell them on working with a psychic. Have you ever thought about changing how you market what you do? You know the look of the website and what you call yourself? Your brand.
Point #3 – What you talked about is great information. I actually learned a lot from your talk, but it was hard to hear it through the really hippy language. I just wonder if you could reformat the way you talk about things so it would have more broad appeal.
Now as a speaker, right after you talk what you want is some atta-girls, thank yous, and wow brilliant work comments. Instead I got a whole lot of critical feedback. I finished that lunch and stayed through the rest of the retreat. But honestly, I felt super angry and defeated. My new DOD friends kept talking with me about their ideas at each break. They asked me to sit at their table during sessions even. Unbeknownst to them, I had just finished a brand rewrite the month before this retreat that cost $10k. So no big surprise, I was completely closed off to their suggestions.
Fast forward December of 2016. I was at a business retreat. It was my turn to have my business masterminded. The group offered suggestions of how I could shift my business to fit the vision I had. Their primary suggestions:
- Did you know they do this kind of work in CEO incubators. Every executive and business owner I know would be interested in having access to this kind of work.
- Have you ever thought about changing what you call yourself? I am not sure the title you use matches the kind of clients you want to work with.
- Have you ever thought about changing the language you use to describe intuition? It seems a bit esoteric.
I was shocked for just a moment until I recognized that every suggestion they had I had heard already. 18 months prior from a table of DOD contractors. I had spent a year and a half disregarding everything they said. I thought they were skeptics. Turns out they were champions for my business and I was the skeptic.
We can receive contributions even from the most unlikely of sources when we are willing.
So consider – where have you been blocking contributions? Is there anyone in your life who is trying to be a champion in your business or your life that you are resisting?
Remember intuition comes from a place of alignment. Resistance comes from a place of ego.